Who We Are – Victoria Symphony Society
The mission of the Victoria Symphony is:
To enrich lives through the shared experience of extraordinary music.
Below are the people on stage and behind the scenes that bring extraordinary music to life.
Music Director - Maestro Christian Kluxen
Already in his fourth season as Music Director of the Victoria Symphony in Canada and third season as Chief Conductor of the Arctic Opera and Philharmonic in Norway, Christian Kluxen must be regarded as one of the most remarkable and unique conductors emerging from the Scandinavian scene.
In the press he has been described as “a dynamic, charismatic figure” who “forms the music with an impressive vertical power of emotion and a focus on the grand form”, conducting “with exemplary clarity and a heavenly warmth”. Throughout his two positions in Canada and Norway he is being recognized for his sincere and transparent leadership, innovative programming and his bold, imaginative and energetic interpretations.
Born in Copenhagen in 1981 to Danish-German parents, Kluxen has a natural affinity towards the Germanic and Scandinavian repertoire, particularly the works of Beethoven, Brahms, Richard Strauss, Nielsen and Sibelius. In 2020, he released a recording of Beethoven’s Violin Concerto on the Simax label, featuring violinist Henning Kraggerud and the Arctic Philharmonic. The disc was praised for its “surprisingly beautiful orchestra sound”, “kept in a slim, sober expression with a punch to it” and labeled as “almost too perfect” by the biggest Danish newspaper Politiken.
During the 2014/15 season, Kluxen held the Dudamel Fellowship with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, acting as assistant conductor to Gustavo Dudamel and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Prior to this appointment, between 2010 and 2013, he was Assistant Conductor at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra as well as a member of the “Dirigentenforum” of the German Music Council.
Kluxen has worked with major orchestras throughout the world, such as the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, RTÉ National Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, Norrköping Symphony, Malmö Symphony, Iceland Symphony, Trondheim Symphony, Strasbourg Philharmonic, Netherlands Philharmonic, Turku Philharmonic, L’Orchestra dell’Arena di Verona, in Australasia with the Auckland Philharmonia and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, and in the US with the Oregon Symphony.
In his home country, Kluxen enjoys close relationships with several orchestras, including the Copenhagen Phil and Odense Symphony, and in May 2019 he stepped in at short notice for concerts with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, replacing Yuri Temirkanov in concerts broadcast live on Danish National Radio.
On the operatic stage, Kluxen has conducted extensive tours of Don Giovanni and Madama Butterfly with the Danish National Opera, followed by his Berlin conducting debut with Die Zauberflöte at Komische Oper. In 2017, he led highly successful performances of Die Fledermaus with Aarhus Symphony Orchestra, and Ariadne auf Naxos (with soprano Lise Davidsen in the title role) with Arctic Opera and Philharmonic. In 2019, his focus was on Bizet’s Carmen, which he led in two full productions; in Denmark at Opera Hedeland and in Norway with Arctic Opera and Philharmonic.
Kluxen’s concerts have been broadcast live in Denmark, the UK, Sweden, Norway and Canada. He has received several prestigious awards and prizes, and in 2016 he was nominated by the International Opera Awards as “Young Conductor of the Year”.
This biography is valid for use until August 2021. We update our biographies regularly and ask that they are not altered without permission. For updated versions, please e-mail [email protected]
Christian Kluxen is the 10th Music Director in the History of the Victoria Symphony, following:
Melvin Knudsen (1941-1948)
Hans Gruber (1948-1964)
Otto Werner Mueller (1964-1967)
Laszlo Gati (1967-1978)
Paul Freeman (1979-1988)
Peter McCoppin (1989-1999)
Kees Bakels (1999-2001)
Timothy Vernon Interim Music Director (2001-2003)
Tania Miller (2003-2017)
Principal Pops Conductor - Maestro Sean O’Loughlin
Sean O’Loughlin (b.1972) is the Principal Pops Conductor of the Victoria Symphony and the Principal Pops Conductor of Symphoria in Syracuse, NY. As a composer and arranger, his music is characterized by vibrant rhythms, passionate melodies, and colorful scoring. Commissions from the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra highlight and showcase his diverse musical abilities. As a conductor, he has led performances with the Boston Pops Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Houston Symphony and the Seattle Symphony amongst others. He has served as conductor for international tours with Josh Groban, Sarah McLachlan and the Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration. He has also appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America with Josh Groban and NBC’s “A Very Pentatonix Christmas.”
Recent collaborations include such artists as Sarah McLachlan, Adele, Josh Groban, Pentatonix, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Diana Ross, Journey, Melissa Etheridge, Blue Man Group, Janelle Monáe, Audra McDonald, Hall and Oates, Gloria Estefan, the Indigo Girls, Diana Krall, Itzhak Perlman, Natalie Merchant, Chris Isaak, Pink Martini, Brandi Carlile, The Decemberists and others.
Through his growing number of commissioned and published works, Sean is excited to continue contributing to the rich history of orchestral and wind band literature. His music is published by Excelcia Music, Hal Leonard and Carl Fischer. He is a frequent guest conductor with professional orchestras and honor bands around the country. An annual ASCAP Special Awards winner, Sean was a composition fellow at the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, and holds composition degrees from New England Conservatory and Syracuse University.
Associate Conductor - Giuseppe Pietraroia
Giuseppe Pietraroia is Associate Conductor for both the Victoria Symphony and Pacific Opera Victoria. As a guest conductor he has been engaged by l’Orchestre Métropolitain, Orchestra London, Vancouver Symphony, Toronto Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic, Hamilton Philharmonic, Okanagan Symphony, Regina Symphony , Kingston Symphony and Thunder Bay Symphony.
His extensive opera engagements with Pacific Opera include productions of Il Barbiere Di Siviglia, La Traviata, La Boheme, Lucia di Lammermoor, Norma, Rigoletto, Manon Lescaut, Madama Butterfly, La Cenerentola, Tosca and Let’s Make an Opera/The Little Sweep. In addition he has conducted productions for, l’Opéra de Montréal, l’Opéra de Québec, Opera Lyra Ottawa and Opera New Brunswick.
With Victoria Choral Society where he was Music Director for 7 seasons, Maestro Pietraroia conducted performances of Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Mass in C minor with the Victoria Symphony, a choreographed production of Orff’s Carmina Burana in collaboration with Ballet Victoria, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, David Fanshawe’s African Sanctus, and the Duruflé and Fauré Requiem.
Maestro Pietraroia has recorded a cd with soprano Marie-Josée Lord and l’Orchestre Métropolitain for the ATMA label, which won a Felix award granted by l’ADISQ and was also nominated for a Juno award.
Giuseppe Pietraroia is the recipient of the George and Jane Heffelfinger Pacific Opera Victoria Artist of the Year Award and the Canada Council’s Jean-Marie Beaudet Award in Orchestral Conducting.
Composer in Residence - Marcus Goddard
Marcus Goddard is an award-winning composer and internationally respected trumpet player whose music has touched the hearts of audiences around the world. His catalogue of over fifty works includes ten pieces for large orchestra, many frequently performed chamber works, and a large body of innovative work for solo instruments and electronics. Goddard is the Composer in Association and Associate Principal Trumpet with the Grammy and Juno Award-winning Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in British Columbia, Canada.
Goddard’s unique ability to connect across these lines has led to frequent performances of his works. His quartet Allaqi, which was commissioned for the St. Lawrence String Quartet by Chamber Music Kelowna and CBC Radio, was recorded by the St Lawrence Quartet received the 2011 Western Canadian Music Award for Best Composition. Allaqihas been performed nearly one hundred times by quartets across North and South America, including performances at Carnegie Hall, the New World Center, and the Banff International String Quartet Competition. The work has been a staple of the Astera String Quartet’s repertoire in its recent first place performances at the M-Prize, Fischoff, and Saint Paul String Quartet Competitions.
I Send Only Angels was commissioned by Maestro Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and has received over thirty performances to date, including one led by Maestro Tovey with l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal as well as multiple performances during a national tour by the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra recently commissioned a Violin Concerto, written for and premiered by Rachel Barton Pine, and a new orchestral work titled Spooky Action at a Distance. Upcoming commissions include a trumpet concerto, cello concerto, and sonata for trumpet and piano. Goddard has enjoyed frequent creative partnerships with performers, dancers, and visual artists, including a recent collaboration with First Nations artist Mike Dangeli and Vancouver’s Standing Wave Ensemble on a work titled Raven Tales. Standing Wave’s recording of the work was nominated for a 2017 Western Canadian Music Award.
As an enthusiastic educator, Goddard has been inspiring and instructing students of all ages for over twenty years in composition and trumpet performance. He has taught at the master’s level at the University of British Columbia and has taught undergraduate performance majors as an Associate Instructor at Indiana University. Goddard has been on the faculty of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Institute at Whistler, B.C. As a long-time Guest Artist at the PRISMA Festival in Powell River B.C., Goddard has taught and mentored many students in orchestral performance and audition training. Many of Goddard’s students have gone on to win professional positions in orchestras and educational institutions in North America and Europe.
Inspiring young people’s creativity has been an ongoing mission for Goddard. In 1999 Goddard created a composition program for students at the Quiring Chamber Music Camp in Vancouver, B.C. Since then, he has nurtured the interest and curiosity of over four hundred composition students between the ages of five and twenty in this program. Goddard regularly shares his enthusiasm for the trumpet and composing as a clinician with festivals, secondary schools and Universities across North America. In partnership with the Trio Accord ensemble, he has been a featured speaker on collaborative creativity for MBA students at the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.
Goddard has been the recipient of fellowships from the Spoleto Festival and the National Orchestral Institute. While completing a Master’s degree at Indiana University he was awarded the coveted Performer’s Diploma and performed Edward Gregson’s Trumpet Concerto as the winner of the Concerto Competition. Goddard graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of music degree from the University of Michigan. His major trumpet teachers include John Rommel, Charles Daval, Armando Ghitalla, Chris Gekker, Louis Ranger, and Jeff Stempien. He has attended seminars with John Corigliano, William Bolcom, Philip Glass, and Krzysztof Penderecki and his major composition teachers include David Dzubay, Marta Ptaszynska, Steve Rouse, and Claude Baker.
In his free time, Goddard explores the Pacific Coast Mountains with his family and friends by foot on skis and mountain bikes. Goddard was born in Burlington, Vermont and holds both Canadian and U.S. citizenship.
Musicians of the VS
The Victoria Symphony is made up of a diverse group of Canadian and international musicians. Meet the VS Musicians.
Board of Directors
Victoria Symphony Society Board of Directors
Alan Hollingworth, President
Honorary Life Members:
Dr. Eric Charman, CM, OBC
C. Stephen Smith
Box Office (Tickets, packages, schedule inquiries)
Victoria Symphony Society
620 View Street, Suite 610
Victoria, BC V8W 1J6
Matthew White, CEO
Jennifer Paget, Director of Finance
Jill Smillie, Director of Marketing
Lorraine Tanner, Director of Development
Shandra Liss, Senior Marketing Officer
Emily Boon, Senior Executive Officer
Allegra Bonifacio, Development Coordinator
Kimberley Manerikar, Community Relations & Box Office Coordinator
Christopher Reiche Boucher, Librarian
Russell Bajer, Associate Librarian
Liz King, Operations Manager